Thinking About Video? Check out the GoPro

Machining videos are more common than ever, and that includes increasing numbers of promotional videos self-produced by shops. This durable, portable camera is ideal for manufacturing environments.


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I might reach for my phone and play the video above next time a friend or family member asks, “What exactly do you write about again?” After all, it provides a look at various metalcutting processes—and those submerged EDM shots, complete with sound, are pretty cool.

The video was taken by staff at Legacy Precision Molds, a Grand Rapids, Michigan plastic injection mold manufacturer that navigated the challenges of adopting five-axis machining for the first time. The secret to those submerged EDM shots is the GoPro camera, a popular item among surfing, skating and other extreme sports enthusiasts for its combination of quality, durability and portability. If you’re looking for a cool way to promote your shop, even smartphone-taken video can be terrific, but a GoPro opens up entirely new possibilities. For instance, it’d be great to mount on a moving pallet shuttle as it services multiple machines.

If you’re already thinking about how you don’t have time to even update your website, let alone experiment with video, bear with me while I stand on my soapbox for a minute. I think the fact that Legacy Precision Molds is willing to dabble in Youtube, even if taking video is not part of a formal marketing effort and time is limited, evidences wisdom on the part of this shop. That is, an understanding that the rest of the world is out there, online. And online is likely  the first place anyone is going to look for more information about your business (hopefully not outdated information), or even find it in the first place.

Granted, being the subject of a trade magazine article can go a long way, too (and print is a great discovery medium in general) but that opportunity isn’t available for everyone. So, maybe it’s worth posting a video or two to YouTube, like Legacy did. Maybe it’s worth finally creating that Facebook page or Twitter account (find me at @MMS_MattDanford), or just clicking around to see what other shops have done with these and other media. After all, I’m not the only MMS editor who has seen anecdotal evidence of manufacturers increasing their marketing efforts, and your competitors may well be among them. In this piece, Senior Editor Pete Zelinski offers his thoughts on that phenomenon as well as ideas for how independent manufacturers might best leverage digital media.